What is the ‘Mop Top’ hairstyle on TikTok?

Mop Top Hairstyle - TikTok

TikTok is trendsetting yet again, as more and more people adopt the “mop top” hairstyle popularized on the video-sharing app.

The do, which existed long before TikTok launched its very first video, has seen a resurgence as several popular TikTok stars adopt the hairstyle. Several big names, including Bryce Hall, Noah Beck, and Noah Schnapp, have sported the hairdo over the last several years, prompting a slew of smaller creatives to mimic the style.

It’s been a few years since the hairstyle first appeared on TikTok, but it remains one of the app’s more popular go-to styles. Thankfully, pulling the mop top hairstyle off is pretty simple, meaning you can try it out yourself if you are so inclined.

How to pull off the mop top hairstyle

First off, let’s broadly assume that very few people on TikTok have the innate hairstyling abilities to pull this off at home. So definitely schedule a visit to your favorite hairstylist if you’re looking to try out the mop top look, and let them work their magic.

The mop top style is a boyish and slightly shaggy look that features longer hair on top of the head, gradually shortening the hair down the sides. As noted by Dexerto, you can look at the style as a distant cousin to the undercut, one that demands a good amount less in the way of upkeep.

An Aug. 2020 video from YouTuber The Salon Guy gives an excellent breakdown of how to pull off the look, which he calls the “biggest hair trend on TikTok.” In the video, he walks viewers through the process of acquiring the look from a stylist’s perspective. He begins by slowly cutting down the hair on the back of the head, shortening it until it’s between half an inch and a full inch, before working his way to the sides and top. The hair on the sides of the head should be as short as the hair at the very base of the neck before gradually lengthening to the far longer locks on the top of the head.

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The hair on top of the head also varies in length, however, ensuring that this very simple-looking hairstyle is actually pretty complicated. The Salon Guy, whose real name is Stephen Marinaro, explains that the hair near the back of the head’s top should be around 3 inches long but should lengthen as it goes forward. The hair near the front of the head often reaches down past the bridge of the nose, as pointed out by Marinaro, but is styled upward, so it appears far shorter.

Noting that the haircut requires a transition from “very neat” into “very very messy” in order to work, Marinaro explains that the style demands a “tapered flow into an absolute, just, mess.”

The key to making the “mop” portion of the style — aka the very top — work, according to Marinaro, is “connecting the layers, and making sure that every single hair is layered.” This gives it the texture it needs to give the style a purposefully messy look, instead of an untamed one.

“Even though it looks like an absolute mess, that’s the look.”